Preview: Blaydon are Holloway’s sole focus

OA's head coach Andy Holloway (L)

OA's head coach Andy Holloway (L) - Credit: Archant

Andy Holloway’s sole focus switched to Blaydon the instant the final whistle rang out at Woollams, signalling Old Albanian’s 25-15 win over high-flying Fylde on Saturday.

The head coach is in a scrap to keep OAs in National League One, with his team hovering just above the relegation zone. He has nine games left, starting this Saturday at home to Blaydon, to pick up the necessary points for the club to retain its status in the division.

“There are nine games left but everyone around us is winning. It’s going to be a scrap right to the end, I think, so all we can do is worry about ourselves and control what we can control,” he said. “If we do that, which we did against Fylde, then we’ll get more results.

“All I’m thinking about is Blaydon; there’s no point worrying about three or four games down the line; we just have to take every league point on offer. We do look at the league table because we have to be realistic about where we are and trouble we’re in; that sharpens people up a bit. But we’re not looking further ahead than Blaydon.

“They have a big scrum, big lineout and kick a lot. If you give them penalties around the halfway line they’ll kick for the corners and drive you and scrum you and try to strangle you that way.

“We’ll have to be disciplined. Our scrum is going well so hopefully we will have some joy there and our attack showed they can play against anyone.”

Old Albanian head into Saturday’s game having ended a frustrating run of losses, which has seen them lose five on the bounce and register just one bonus point, with victory over Fylde.

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It was, in Holloway’s own words, a massive win.

“The last five weeks have been tough but we felt we should have won last week [against Loughborough Students] – we got into a winning position and blew it – and we should have beaten Coventry at home and picked up a couple of bonus points from the other games,” he said.

“We were frustrated but the lads have got us back on track. It was a massive win, there’s no two ways about that.”

Saturday’s game at Woollams kicks off at 3pm.